- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The planting of corn and soybeans in Ohio is off to a slow start, with only about a third of the corn crop and 10 percent of soybeans in the ground, so far, according to agricultural officials.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said corn crops were 20 percentage points behind the five-year average for planting as of Monday, and soybeans were 18 points behind that average, The Columbus Dispatch reported (https://bit.ly/25aZByF ).

The cold, wet weather has made fields unfit for planting the state’s two largest crops, a stark contrast from near-perfect weather last year that allowed farmers to plant about three-quarters of their corn over the same period.

“It’s just one of those years,” said David Black, who grows corn and soybeans in Franklin and Pickaway counties. “Every year is different, and this year is different, too.”

Officials said this year’s weather isn’t an anomaly. A cold, wet spring two years ago also stalled crop plantings, but a mild summer led to record highs in corn and soybean yields.

Peter Thomison, a professor of corn-cropping systems at Ohio State University, said the success of the crops is largely dependent on temperatures and moisture in July and August. Soybeans are planted after corn and are more tolerant of being put in the ground later in the season, he said.

“I’d certainly want to get my corn in the ground as early as I can,” Thomison said. “Sometimes though, that doesn’t work.”

The ground needs to dry out before planting can get back on track, but Black said it isn’t time to worry.

“We need some sun,” Black said. “But we’ll get it done. It’s still early.”


Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, https://www.dispatch.com

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